VA Requests 10% Funding Increase to Tackle Veterans’ Disability Costs

Posted on Feb 24, 2012
While budgets are being slashed at many other government agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs is requesting a 10.5 percent increase in funding in order to take on upcoming challenges related to disabled veterans and homeless veterans. Specifically, the VA is asking for $140 billion in funds for next year, including $76 billion to keep benefits programs afloat and $64 billion for veteran healthcare.

The VA says that record numbers of veterans are applying for veterans’ disability benefits and that the claims backlog is growing daily despite efforts to expedite the process. Many experts believe that the high numbers are due to the aging Baby Boom generation, the influx of disabled service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recent poor economy.

Much of the requested increase will go towards disabled veterans’ compensation. While some of the funds will go directly to service members, some of the money will go toward creating a smoother, more accurate claims process – one that is online and one that takes less than an hour for veterans to complete. At the same time, the VA plans on revamping its disability rating process to make the process more equitable and fairer.

Currently, about 12 million Americans receive veterans’ benefits. The VA stated that it hoped the administration would understand its need for extra money, even in the current climate of budget cuts and belt tightening.

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Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law